The 20 Most Famous Celebrity Swimsuit Shots of All Time
2/24/2011 5:33:06 PM
It just took one skimpy bathing suit and a few seductive poses on a sandy beach to catapult these women into Hollywood immortality. Who knew achieving fame could be so easy and bring joy to so many adolescent boys and young men? Check out this list of some of the hottest celebrity swimsuit photos in history.
- Farrah Fawcett: This legendary photo of Fawcett in a red, one-piece bathing suit was taken in 1974 and is credited with kicking her career into overdrive. Posing with a southwestern-print blanket as a backdrop, the photo in poster form sold 8 million copies across the globe. Two years later, Fawcett became one of the original and most popular “Charlie’s Angels” on the then-new Aaron Spelling-produced show.
- Bo Derek: The scene from the movie “10” where Bo Derek jogs down the beach sporting cornrows and a flesh-toned one piece became an instant classic and has even been imitated and parodied in several other films. Derek netted a Golden Globe nomination for her performance, but the real reward came from the fact that she was instantly labeled the sex symbol du jour upon its release. While “10” would represent the film highlight of her career, Derek capitalized on her physique and modeling experience, going on to appear in “Playboy” several times.
- Pamela Anderson: A list of sexy swimsuited celebrities would absolutely not be complete without the famous “Baywatch” photo of Pamela Anderson in her regulatory lifeguard uniform – a high-cut, red one-piece – bounding down a California beach, Rescue Can in hand. Even though this photo is tame compared to some of the other material available on Anderson, it’s still the most renowned.
- Demi Moore: While in her 40s, Demi Moore staged a miraculous body comeback when she was asked to appear in the “Charlie’s Angels” movie in 2003 as a nemesis of the three Angels. She shocked and wowed the crowd by looking fitter than anyone else in the film with not a jiggle to spot as she did her obligatory run down the beach in a black string bikini. Photos of Moore’s new bod from the taping of this scene instantly appeared in every celebrity news publication known to man.
- Marilyn Monroe: This photo of Monroe decked out in a hot-white one-piece represents one of Norma Jean’s most famous photo shoots. While several of the shots taken at the shoot can be found in poster form, this one of her looking somewhat coy could be considered the best of the bunch. Want to see it really large? Check out one of the many Internet poster dealers who sell life-sized cut outs of The Blonde Bombshell.
- Christie Brinkley: In this “Sports Illustrated” photo, Brinkley is modeling a type of swimsuit called a maillot tanga, which is essentially a G-string with a small triangle of fabric at the top. Both the suit and the fact that Brinkley was wearing it in a mainstream magazine were considered something of a breakthrough for its time. However, while this particular suit and pose has more character, it wasn’t the first time Brinkley had modeled the style. She appeared in a tanga bikini on the cover of “Sports Illustrated” in 1975 when she was only 20.
- Paulina Porizkova: Czech model Pauline Porizkova is best known for two things: marrying “The Cars” lead singer Rick Ocasek and making every man’s mermaid-come-to-life fantasy come true in this shot where she casually models a suit made up of two tiny seashells and a loin cloth. Porizkova is widely considered to be one of the most beautiful, though not the most financially successful, supermodels of all time.
- Elle Macpherson: Elle Macpherson has been in “Sports Illustrated” so many times that asking someone to name her sexiest photo could easily start a lengthy and heated debate. But the argument for this photo is clear – the Thailand Fling was a popular issue due to Macpherson’s most intense come-hither look. Though Macpherson has graced other covers of the magazine, but this one routinely gets top marks from subscribers.
- Kathy Ireland: But while Macpherson’s “SI” covers always sell well, no one can top the 1989 issue featuring a playful Kathy Ireland bouncing in the surf wearing a white bikini. This issue is the best selling issue of “Sports Illustrated” on record. While Ireland is now a multi-billion dollar business woman as CEO of Kathy Ireland Worldwide, a motivational speaker, and one of the top 5 celebrity entrepreneurs to be named by “Inc. Magazine”, those envious of her success might be comforted to know she was once known for nothing more than her ability to look good at the pool. Or, actually, maybe that’s not so comforting after all.
- Heidi Klum: In 1998 this German-born bombshell made many a man happy to get the mail one fine day in February. The photo of Klum wearing a modest-but-sexy suit on the cover of “Sports Illustrated” was instantly praised for its suggestiveness and beauty. Klum, who now hosts the hit show “Project Runway” and is married to singer Seal, is yet another seasoned “Sports Illustrated” veteran to achieve legendary status.
- Brigitte Bardot: This risqué bombshell from France set herself apart from Hollywood actresses in the 1960s and 1970s with her seductive and forward nature. A style icon, women everywhere admired her big blond hair and large oval sunglasses. But men liked her for far different reasons. This photo, which appeared on the cover of the “Paris Revue” in 1964, was considered to be extremely tawdry for its time, especially in the States. Bardot starred in more than 50 movies during her career and was often cast in roles that highlighted her sexuality.
- Rita Hayworth: This “Life Magazine” cover of Hayworth giggling on a beach in a modest, white two-piece debuted in 1941 and quickly became one of the most popular WWII pinups to be seen on an Army barrack wall (along with the famous “Life” cover of her in a white negligee taken the same year). Hayworth’s nickname was “The Love Goddess” and her cute and easygoing beauty makes it easy to understand why this photo consistently ranks high when considering the best swimsuit pictures in history.
- Cheryl Ladd: Cheryl Ladd, one of the original Charlie’s Angels, had a successful acting career in the 1970s and was thought to be one of the most beautiful women in Hollywood – an assumption that is clearly backed up by this photo of a glistening Ladd in a striped bikini. Ladd has also appeared in both Playboy and Maxim.
- Raquel Welch: Whether or not what Raquel Welch is wearing in this photo is an actual swimsuit seems to be besides the point, considering the picture’s rampant popularity. The legendary shot was taken in 1966 to promote Welch’s movie “One Million Years, B.C.”, a fantasy film in which Welch plays a cavewoman named Loana. It became a bestselling poster in no time and was part of the reason why“Playboy” dubbed Welch the “Most Desired Woman” of the 1970s.
- Betty Grable: Compared to today’s standards, this photo’s timidity probably wouldn’t warrant even a glance from most modern men. But Grable was a legend in her time and rightfully so. This photo of the actress in a modest one piece and a pair of heels became iconic and was considered the most popular pinup of the World War II era. It was even included in the “Life Magazine” list of the “100 Photos that Changed the World.” Despite stiff competition from contemporaries like Hayworth, Grable’s pinup was the number one choice for GIs across the nation, probably due to her knockout legs, which her studio insured for $1 million each.
- Ursula Andress: One of the most – if not the most – popular Bond girls of all time, Ursula Andress came booming onto the scene with her role in “Dr. No” in 1962. The movie opens with this iconic shot of Andress emerging from the ocean in a fitted white bikini and is often referred to as one of the sexiest movie moments of all time. She went on to star in movies with both Elvis and Frank Sinatra.
- Phoebe Cates: “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” is a cult classic from the early 1980s partially due to the every-teenage-boy’s-fantasy scene where Cates removes her bikini top for Judge Reinhold while standing underneath a waterfall. The scene launched her sex-symbol status and helped her movie career – Cates starred in 7 successful subsequent movies that decade before her career slowed in the 1990s.
- Beyonce: In 2007, Beyonce made history by becoming the first musician to ever appear on the cover of “Sports Illustrated”. To top it off, she was sporting a bikini of her own design, which is part of her House of Dereon label. The issue was wildly popular and featured a more curvaceous model than is usually chosen for the cover.
- Niki Taylor: No stranger to “Sports Illustrated,” Taylor has many hot photos for the magazine under her belt. This one, shot in the Galagapos Islands in 1998, was featured in the “Ultimate Swimsuit” edition and is noted by many for its uber-sex appeal. Taylor now co-hosts “Make Me a Supermodel” with male model Tyson Beckford on the Bravo Channel.
- Cameron Diaz: If this photo of Cameron Diaz isn’t legendary now, it will be soon. Shot for the cover of the May 2008 Hollywood UK “GQ” edition, Diaz shows off a buff body and an extensive set of legs. Not bad for an actress who, at 35, could be considered out of her prime.